Enormous changes enabled by software will help millions of people in the developing world live healthier lives, bring new ideas to life, and participate in the global economy.
Last year, the World Economic Forum established the Global Agenda Council (GAC) on the Future of Software and Society. Our mission is to help society navigate the huge societal shifts coming from software technology, both positive and negative. As part of that effort, in March, we conducted a survey to gather views and provoke discussion on some of the transformations occurring in society as a result of software. We asked a wide range of entrepreneurs, experts, and government officials for their views on when the adoption rate of specific technologies will reach a point that results in major societal impacts–everything from implantable mobile phones to robotic pharmacists to cities with no traffic lights. One outcome that emerged was exciting in its ability to directly impact millions of lives today: the potential of software to empower the developing world.